Zaid Jilani: Garcia, Yang alliance in NYC mayoral primary represents effort to block Adams

Journalist Zaid Jilani told Hill.TV’s “Rising” on Monday that the newly formed alliance between New York mayoral Democratic primary candidates Andrew YangAndrew YangPoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Kings launch voting rights effort honoring John Lewis Eric Adams to meet with Biden on curbing gun violence MORE and Kathryn Garcia could be an effort to knock out fellow contender Eric Adams

“What we’re seeing here between Yang and Garcia is actually an attempt to block Adams, right? And I think that Adams understands that he’s coming into this as a front-runner but that ranked-choice voting makes it unpredictable,” Jilani said. 

“If Yang and Garcia’s voters are able to coalesce in a sort of de facto coalition where they’re ranking each other first and second, they could conceivably block Adams,” he added.

For the first time in the city’s history, New York residents are set to use ranked-choice voting. Voters will be permitted to rank their choices among the slate of mayoral candidates, and the ballots for their subsequent picks are reallocated until one candidate reaches a majority of the vote. 

Several polls have showed Adams as the front-runner for New Yorkers’ first choice ahead of Tuesday's Democratic primary.

Yang and Garcia campaigned together on Saturday. Yang told voters that he would “urge anyone who is supporting me as their first choice, please do have Kathryn Garcia on your ballot. We need to make sure that candidates who are going to do the right thing for New Yorkers get into City Hall.”

Adams slammed the move, saying in a statement that “For them to come together like they are doing in the last three days, they’re saying we can’t trust a person of color to be the mayor of the City of New York when this city is overwhelmingly people of color,” The New York Times reported.

When asked for response to the comment, Yang said during the Saturday event, "I would tell Eric Adams that I’ve been Asian my entire life.”